Thursday, December 30, 2010

Go west, young girl

I'm in El Paso at the moment, getting ready for a family visit to the historic village of Old Mesilla, New Mexico, and wondering at what a difference six months makes. My sister has changed from a toddler into a full-fledged little kid since I last saw her, which sadly was all the way back in June, around her second birthday, since all the time and money I've had for travel since then has gone into trips to Austin for job interviews and my mom's surgery.
She's still about as contrary, mischievous, and temperamental as anybody under age three, so of course I look forward to this phase being over. But I also can't believe how much is going on in terms of her cognition and verbal skills right now. She can sound out basic words with just a little help, and she recognizes some of her favorites, like the D-O-R-A of Dora the Explorer, on sight.

She's also downright conversational. Pointing at different parts of a toy bracelet she got for Christmas, she'll tell me, "I like the butterfly, I like the pink, and I like that, because that is light blue." Watching a TV show on her favorite channel, Sprout: "Did you see his girlfriend walking there? He has a girlfriend." Later, when the characters arrive at daycare: "They're gonna take a nap." Then again, her favorite words are "I don't want to," which I think we all wish we could go back and make sure she never learned.

It's crazy, as everyone in the family asks for updates about school and congratulates me on my upcoming graduation, to think that all this development in Mirella has happened since my first visit to Cambridge to pick out an apartment for law school. I once heard J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, refer to one of her books as her daughter's "ink-and-paper twin" because it was largely written during her pregnancy. I feel kind of the same way about my legal career and my sister, which were both in their infancy at the same time.

On a side note, Christmas was great, especially all the presents from my mom designed to help me develop a professional wardrobe. There's a particular ochre-colored top from J. Crew that I hope I have the restraint to keep in nice shape until my clerkship.

For now, I'm off to New Mexico, but I promise to post again soon with the promised updates about exams, classes, et cetera. Happy New Year, everyone!

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